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RLC partners with Rend Lake RC Club to build new airfield

Remote control aircraft enthusiasts will soon have a new place to soar with the construction of the new Radio Control Field on Rend Lake College’s Ina campus. The old field, located north of campus, will be moved to the east side of campus to better suit event, parking, and student needs.

The new field construction was approved by the RLC Board of Trustees earlier this evening at the projected cost of $34,000, of which the Rend Lake Remote Control (RC) Club donated $5,000. The project will be completed in-house by RLC’s Physical Plant Department.

“We just really appreciate everything the college is doing for the organization,” said RC Club President Dave Black. “The college has done a lot for us over the years and that was really on display this fall. We just wanted to show our appreciation and give something back. This has been a great partnership, and we are looking forward to continuing it for many years to come.”

Rend Lake RC Club members donate $5,000 to RLC to help build the new Radio Control Field on campus. Pictured is, FROM LEFT, Rend Lake RC Club President Dave Black, Club Treasurer Philip Bean, Club Safety Coordinator Pete Renick, RLC President Terry Wilkerson, Club Secretary Angela Black, and Club Vice President John Griffin.
(Reece Rutland / RLC Public Information)

Currently, the field is not equipped for larger planes, but the new 800-foot-long runway will provide for plenty of space. RLC students utilize the field in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) program to practice drone flying. Rend Lake RC Club members also use the space for events, camps, and practicing their skills. A small pavilion will also be built to accomodate an increased interest in the hobby.

In fact, Black said recently the club has exploded in popularity. He said normally the club receives a few applications every year, but with the recent exposure, they have added nine new members in the past two months. The organization also had two visitors from out of state recently who stopped in to visit, fly, and share their passion for RC aviation.

Recently, RLC partnered with the Rend Lake RC Club to put on a youth summer camp. The offering proved to be one of the college’s most popular camps as local youth clamored for a chance to visit the RC Airfield on campus and try their hand at remote controlled flying.

“The RC Club has provided a lot to the college. They’ve done maintenance and mowing on the old field north of campus. They’ve been very proactive in wanting to spark interest in our students and working with our Unmanned Aircraft Systems program. We are going to utilize this new space for that program as well,” said RLC President Terry Wilkerson. “We want to work hard on being a good member of the community. Part of that is working with these clubs and organizations to provide them with support.”

For more information about RLC’s UAS program, contact Chris Edwards at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1278 or To learn more about the Rend Lake RC Club, visit their website at or check them out on Facebook.